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Recovering Compensation for a Workplace Amputation Injury

leg amputee practicing walkingWhile there is a risk of injury in many jobs, some are significantly more dangerous than others and could result in amputation injuries. These are life-changing injuries that often make it impossible to return to the same job you were doing before the injury occurred.

Below, learn more about the risk factors for amputation injuries and benefits that may be available to those who suffer these injuries.

If you or a loved one suffered an amputation on the job, you should strongly consider discussing the situation with a licensed attorney. Navigating California’s workers’ compensation system can be complicated, particularly if your claim is denied.

Risk Factors for Amputation Injuries

One of the biggest risk factors for suffering an amputation injury is working with heavy machinery, particularly machinery with a lot of moving parts, or machines that cut, puncture or rotate wood, metal or other materials or apply significant pressure to complete a specific task, such as mechanical power presses.

Some of these potentially dangerous machines include:

  • Milling machines
  • Food presses
  • Food slicers
  • Meat grinders
  • Powered conveyors
  • Nonpowered conveyers
  • Lathes
  • Printing presses
  • Wood splitting machines
  • Trash compactors
  • Steam-powered engines
  • Shearing/cutting devices
  • Metal stamping machines

A large percentage of amputation injuries occur in the manufacturing industry, particularly among those who work with these kinds of machines.

There is also a risk of amputation injuries in construction. Workers could get their arms or legs caught in something or debris or machinery could fall on an arm or leg and result in the arm or leg needing to be amputated. It can also be dangerous to work with power tools, such as electric saws.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Amputation Injuries

Unlike some states, California does not specify a certain amount of compensation for different amputation injuries, such as the loss of a hand, foot, arm, leg or finger.

Losing a limb, particularly an arm, hand, leg or foot is likely to be considered a permanent disability, as it will permanently affect your earning capacity. You may need to do a different job or work fewer hours or take on fewer responsibilities than you did before.

While your reasonable and necessary medical care (surgeries, prosthetics, physical therapy, etc.) should be fully covered by the workers’ compensation system, the amount of disability benefits you receive will be based on the disability rating you are assigned by the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Disability Evaluation Unit. Your rating is plugged into a formula to determine how much compensation you receive. Another factor in the value of your benefits is your average weekly wage from before your injury.

 It is critical that you receive as much compensation as possible so you can continue to support yourself and your family, now that you must live the rest of your life with an amputation injury. You will likely be unable to work in the same capacity as before, which can be devastating to your financial security, both now and in the future.

You should strongly consider meeting with a licensed attorney to discuss your injury and the compensation that may be available. The lawyers at Berry, Smith & Bartell have more than 85 years of combined experience in workers’ compensation cases. We know how to determine what a claim may be worth and are prepared to appeal a denied claim or dispute a disability rating we believe is too low.  

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

The Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers at Berry, Smith & Bartell are here to review your workers’ compensation claim, answer your questions and discuss how we may be able to help you.

There is no cost or obligation for meeting with us, so there is no risk to you. Also, our attorneys are not paid unless we recover benefits for you. We are prepared to guide you through each step of the process, including an appeal if your claim is denied.

The workers’ compensation process can be complex and difficult to manage on your own. Call us to learn more about how we may be able to assist you and allow you to focus on your medical treatment and recovery.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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